City centre businesses are counting the cost of some of the worst traffic snarl-ups that took place in Galway last week.
Such was the chaos that many shoppers turned around and went back home as traffic ground to a halt on nearly every route into the city.
It has now been suggested that the combined brains of Galway City Council and Galway County Council be utilised to sort out the traffic congestion that is proving detrimental to businesses in the city centre.
And if that does not resolve the problem, then it has been proposed that some outside agencies expert in dealing with traffic management issues being engaged.
Deputy Noel Grealish said that it was now essential that a proper traffic management plan be put in place for the city in view of the fact that the Galway City Outer Bypass would not be provided for at least 20 years.
But he now suggests that an outside agency be engaged to sort out Galway’s traffic woes which accentuate during adverse weather conditions.
On one particular day last week, the traffic build-ups were so bad that motorists – mainly shoppers – simply turned around and went home.
Galway City Council claims that changing the sequence of traffic lights at junctions in the city, will not improve traffic flow.
But Deputy Grealish said that the current situation could not continue and believed that there should be “joined up thinking” between the City Council and the County Council with regard to traffic management.
“The situation is that there will be no outer bypass within the next 20 years so we have to look at moving traffic around Galway city as best we can.
“At the moment this is not happening and the lights are a major problem for motorists entering the city. Despite what officials say, they are no better than the roundabouts that were there. In fact in some cases they are worse,” Deputy Grealish added.
Director of Galway Transportation Unit, Joe Tansey, says the sequence of lights at junctions, such as the one at the Tuam road, has not changed recently.
He says the travel patterns of motorists have changed and the junctions can only take a certain volume of traffic.
Angry motorists complained they were late for work and were disciplined, missed medical appointments, been late to school and college lectures.
Businesses were also complaining that trade was down because motorists were opting to go to Athlone to avoid traffic delays in Galway.
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to email@example.com or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!
Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.
A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.
Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down.
The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.
Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.
Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.
However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.
“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.
Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.
“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.
There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.